For more than 60 years, the largest Rolex Datejust models had 36mm cases. However, by the late-2000s, Rolex finally joined in on the large men’s watch trend by releasing bigger versions of its dress watches – including a bigger Datejust. This initial effort was known as the Datejust II and it was the precursor to the contemporary Rolex Datejust 41 collection that exists today.
The Rolex Datejust 41, which made its debut in 2016, replaced the previous Rolex Datejust II collection. Although both models have the same 41mm case size, the newer Datejust 41 watches have some notable differences including a slimmer design, more variations, and a new-generation movement.
If you’re looking to buy the largest Datejust watch that Rolex has to offer, then check out our ultimate Rolex Datejust 41 buying guide for all the details. From sporty steel models to stylish two-tone variants to plush diamond-set editions, we break down everything you need to know about the Datejust 41 collection.
As its name suggests, Rolex Datejust 41 watches sport 41mm cases, which is 5mm larger than the classic Datejust 36 option. Given that the Datejust 41 is not the first Datejust with a 41mm case, it’s only natural to compare it to its predecessor, the Datejust II.
On paper, both of these models have the same case diameter; yet the newer Datejust 41 has much more similar proportions to the archetypical Datejust 36 than to the Datejust II. Compared to the Datejust II, the Datejust 41 has slimmer lugs and a thinner bezel, which makes it more elegant to wear than the sportier model that preceded it. The stainless steel 41mm Oyster case sits nice and large on the wrist, yet its slim profile and tapered lugs make for an incredibly comfortable fit.
Like all Rolex Datejust watches, the Datejust 41 not only features a date window at 3 o’clock on the dial but also a Cyclops magnification lens protruding from the surface of the crystal above it. Furthermore, the Oyster case is furnished with a Twinlock screw-down winding crown, granting the watch a more-than-adequate water resistance rating of 100 meters (330 feet).
The Datejust has long been Rolex’s most varied collection, and the Datejust 41 line is no different. With four material options, two bracelet choices, two bezel styles, and plenty of dial designs to choose from, there are dozens of possible configurations available within the current Datejust 41 range of watches.
Oystersteel is Rolex’s branded version of stainless steel, which is based on a 904L stainless steel alloy. Rolesor is the name Rolex gives to its watches that include both steel with gold components. White Rolesor is the version that pairs a stainless eel case and bracelet with an 18k white gold fluted bezel.
Yellow Rolesor and Everose Rolesor are the two-tone variants, with 18k gold bezels, crowns, and bracelet center links. Everose gold is Rolex’s proprietary rose gold alloy that has been particularly engineered to not discolor over time and exposure to the elements.
Rolex bezel designs differ based on their material. Stainless steel bezels on modern Datejust watches will always be smooth while fluted bezels will always be in gold. With that in mind, gold Rolex Datejust 41 bezels are available in either smooth or fluted designs, and the retail prices for fluted gold bezels are slightly more expensive than their smooth gold counterparts.
Every Rolex Datejust 41 reference is available with either an Oyster bracelet or a Jubilee bracelet. Oyster bracelets are sportier in style thanks to their flat links and three-piece configuration. Conversely, the Jubilee bracelet is the dressier option, featuring a five-piece configuration of semi-circular links. The Jubilee bracelet was specifically designed for the Datejust back in 1945, which makes it the traditional band choice for this famed Rolex watch model.
Both bracelets on Rolex Datejust 41 watches are furnished with the ultra-secure Oysterclasp, with the practical Easylink 5mm comfort extension system. It’s also worth noting that Rolex retail prices for Datejust 41 watches with Jubilee bracelets are slightly higher than those with Oyster bracelets due to their more complex construction.
A quick way to see what metal a Datejust 41 is fashioned from is to look at the last digit of the reference number. 0 is steel, 4 is White Rolesor, 3 is Yellow Rolesor, and 1 is Everose Rolesor. Additionally, the second-to-last digit tells you the bezel style, where 0 represents smooth while 3 signifies fluted.
The Rolex Datejust 41 collection runs on the Rolex Caliber 3235 – a movement that made its debut in the Pearlmaster in 2015. Boasting 14 patents, this is the brand’s newest generation of a time and date automatic mechanical movement. It includes a new and proprietary escapement design dubbed the Chronergy escapement, which offers better efficiency and an improved power reserve for the wearer.
The Rolex Datejust 41 has a power reserve of approximately 70 hours, thus the watch can be left unworn for just under three full days before coming to a stop. This is substantially longer than previous Datejust calibers, which have a power reserve of around 48 hours.
Furthermore, as of 2015, Rolex redefined what it means to have the ‘Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified’ label. Now, all Rolex watches made from 2015 onward, including the Datejust 41, are guaranteed to be accurate to +2/-2 seconds a day. Rolex’s new Superlative Chronometer standards are more than twice as stringent as the parameters required for COSC chronometer certification.
Given the variety of the Rolex Datejust 41 lineup, it’s not surprising that prices vary significantly depending on the specific reference and dial design. Retail prices for the Datejust 41 start at $7,650 for the stainless steel ref. 126300 with an Oyster bracelet and top out at $18,350 for an Everose Rolesor ref. 126331 with a fluted bezel, Jubilee bracelet, and mother-of-pearl dial set with diamond hour markers. The various Rolesor references are available with diamond-set dials, which naturally increase their retail prices.
The Datejust is often considered to be the quintessential Rolex watch. Not designed for one particular sport or activity but more than tough enough to stand up to the rigors of everyday wear and use, the magic of the Rolex Datejust is that it also somehow remains elegant enough to effortlessly blend in with formal attire. While much of the modern collecting world is focused upon the brand’s various sports models, the Datejust is arguably the single watch that is most emblematic of the Rolex brand.
The perfect daily wristwatch, the Rolex Datejust 41, regardless of the specific variant, is exactly the model you want for your go-anywhere, do-anything luxury timepiece. Unlike its beefier Datejust II sibling, the Datejust 41 honors the traditional design codes of the original Datejust, while still offering a modern and bold presence on the wrist.
Large enough to fit today’s watch trends, yet timeless enough to wear for generations, it’s no wonder that the Rolex Datejust 41 became an instant modern classic upon its release and remains one of the brand’s most popular models.